Christopher D. O'Connor
800 East Beckwith Avenue
Contact Christopher D. O'Connor
Kit O’Connor is an Ecologist with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station working on the human dimensions of managing the risks and benefits of wildland fire. His current projects involve support for the National Forest Planning process and critical examination of the incident command structure to assist in development of scalable, long-term forest and fire planning decision systems.
Fire Ecology, Fire Management, Forest Disturbance Ecology, Entomology
Kit’s previous work was centered on ecological reconstruction of landscape changes, response to climate and human impacts, and projected changes to forest and disturbance dynamics in response to projected future climate conditions.
- University of Arizona, Ph.D. Natural Resource Management Dendrochronology, fire science, forest ecology, entomology, spatial modeling 2013
- University of Quebec at Montreal, M.S. Biology Forest Entomology Disturbance Ecology, Forest Management 2009
- Pennsylvania State University, B.S. Agricultural Science Entomology, Ecology 1999
Awards & Recognition
- Outstanding Dissertation Award, 2014
University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment
- Andrew Ellicott Douglass Memorial Scholarship, 2012
University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
- Western Forest Insect Work Conference Memorial Scholarship, 2011
WFIWC Annual Memorial Scholarship recipient and key note speaker
- Science and Society Fellowship, 2010
University of Arizona Biosphere 2
- Fulbright Fellowship, 2006
Institute of International Education, U.S. Department of State
Featured Publications & Products
- O'Connor, Christopher D.; Thompson, Matthew P.; Rodriguez y Silva, Francisco. 2016. Getting ahead of the wildfire problem: Quantifying and mapping management challenges and opportunities.
- O'Connor, Christopher D.; Falk, Donald A.; Lynch, Ann M.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 2014. Fire severity, size, and climate associations diverge from historical precedent along an ecological gradient in the Pinaleno Mountains, Arizona, USA.
- O'Connor, Christopher D.; Lynch, Ann M.; Falk, Donald A.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 2014. Post-fire forest dynamics and climate variability affect spatial and temporal properties of spruce beetle outbreaks on a Sky Island mountain range.
- Swetnam, Tyson L.; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Lynch, Ann M. 2016. Tree morphologic plasticity explains deviation from metabolic scaling theory in semi-arid conifer forests, southwestern USA.
- O’Connor, Christopher D.; Calkin, David E. 2019. Engaging the fire before it starts: A case study from the 2017 Pinal Fire (Arizona).
- Dunn, Christopher J.; O’Connor, Christopher D.; Reilly, Matthew J.; Calkin, Dave E.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2019. Spatial and temporal assessment of responder exposure to snag hazards in post-fire environments.
- Riley, Karin L.; Williams, A. Park; Urbanski, Shawn P.; Calkin, David E.; Short, Karen C.; O’Connor, Christopher D. 2019. Will landscape fire increase in the future A systems approach to climate, fire, fuel, and human drivers.
- Klesse, Stefan ; DeRose, R. Justin; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Lynch, Ann M.; O’Connor, Christopher D.; Shaw, John D.; Evans, Margaret E. K. 2018. Sampling bias overestimates climate change impacts on forest growth in the southwestern United States.
- Wei, Yu; Thompson, Matthew P.; Haas, Jessica R.; Dillon, Gregory K.; O’Connor, Christopher D. 2018. Spatial optimization of operationally relevant large fire confine and point protection strategies: Model development and test cases.
- O'Connor, Christopher D.; Calkin, David E.; Thompson, Matthew P. 2017. An empirical machine learning method for predicting potential fire control locations for pre-fire planning and operational fire management.
- O'Connor, Christopher D.; Falk, Donald A.; Lynch, Ann M.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Wilcox, Craig P. 2017. Disturbance and productivity interactions mediate stability of forest composition and structure.
- Panyushkina, Irina P.; Mukhamadiev, Nurjan S.; Lynch, Ann M.; Ashikbaev, Nursagim A.; Arizpe, Alexis H.; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Abjanbaev, Danyar; Mengdbayeva, Gulnaz Z.; Sagitov, Abay O. 2017. Wild apple growth and climate change in southeast Kazakhstan.
- Mukhamadiev, N.; Lynch, A.; O'Connor, C.; Sagitov, A.; Ashikbaev, N.; Panyushkina, I. 2014. The historical role of Ips hauseri (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the spruce forest of Ile-Alatausky and Medeo National Parks.
- Lynch, Ann M.; O'Connor, Christopher D. 2013. Mountain pine beetle in southwestern white pine in the Pinaleno Mountains.
- O'Connor, Christopher D. 2013. Spatial and temporal dynamics of disturbance interactions along an ecological gradient.
- O'Connor, Christopher; Falk, Donald A.; Lynch, Ann M.; Wilcox, Craig P.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Swetnam, Tyson L. 2010. Growth and demography of Pinaleno high elevation forests.
Citations of non US Forest Service Publications
Brais, S., T. T. Work, É. Robert, C. D. O’Connor, M. Strukelj, A. Bose, D. Celentano, and B. D. Harvey. 2013. Ecosystem Responses to Partial Harvesting in Eastern Boreal Mixedwood Stands. Forests 4:364-385.
O’Connor, C. D., G. M. Garfin, D. A. Falk, and T. W. Swetnam. 2011. Human pyrogeography: a new synergy of fire, climate and people is reshaping ecosystems across the globe. Geography Compass 5:329-350.
O’Connor, C.D., Koprowski, J.L., Lynch, A.M., Falk, D.F. 2014. Mt. Graham red squirrel use of forest habitat: Historical, present, and future perspectives. Final Report for U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Research Joint Venture Agreement 08-253. School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson. 33 p.
O’Connor, C. D., M. P. Thompson, and F. Rodríguez y Silva. 2016. Getting Ahead of the Wildfire Problem: Quantifying and Mapping Management Challenges and Opportunities. Geosciences 6:35.